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Monday, November 17, 2008

Credit Crunch Roundup — November 17, 2008

Items of Interest:

Bailout Nation Debates Automaker Bailout

John / Power Line:
NO UAW BAILOUT — Jim Manzi has done some of the best analysis of the proposed bailout of GM, Ford and Chrysler—or, one should more properly say, bailout of the United Auto Workers, otherwise slated for extinction. Here, he addresses the theory that the Big Three are in the midst of a turnaround …

Discussion: The Corner
Louis Uchitelle / New York Times:
If Detroit Falls, Foreign Makers Could Be Buffer
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
THE COSTS OF INACTION. — I'm still finding myself conflicted …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Felix Salmon / Portfolio-Market Movers:
The Bankrupty vs. Bailout Meme: How About a 'Bail-In'? -- There's a bailout vs bankruptcy meme going around with regard to GM -- a choice which makes me want to tick "none of the above". I've seen it in dozens of places of late, but since it comes with the imprimatur of Paul Krugman, let's look at the argument of Jonathan Cohn ...

Louis Woodhill, RealClearMarkets:
The Steps Necessary to Save GM

David Pauly / Bloomberg:
Auto Industry Needs Emergency Bankruptcy

Wall Street Journal:
Why Bankruptcy Is the Best Option for GM -- General Motors is a once-great company caught in a web of relationships designed for another era. It should not be fed while still caught, because that will leave it trapped until we get tired of feeding it. Then it will die. The only possibility of saving it is to take the risk of cutting it free. In other words, GM should be allowed to go bankrupt...

Wall Street Journal:
Stimulate Car Buyers, Not Car Makers
Jeffrey D. Sachs / Washington Post:
A Bridge for the Carmakers -- A government-supported restructuring of the auto industry is urgently needed for our economic and energy security. If the Bush administration allows the auto industry to collapse, it will compound the panic that started with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. Washington should seize the opportunity to begin a new era of U.S. technological leadership in the global auto industry, starting with an immediate loan...
Discussion: The New Republic
USA Today:
As it asks for bailout, GM cuts extravagance, office supplies — General Motors' Cadillacs and Hummers may be icons of extravagance, but a cash crunch is forcing frugality on the automaker, ...
John Dvorak / MarketWatch:
Could Steve Jobs Save General Motors? - Writing in the New York Times, commentator Thomas Friedman decided to take a few potshots at the beleaguered U.S. auto industry -- a masochistic business that seems to invite cyclical attacks. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

Generalities, unfair comparisons, sarcasm, and general condescension was thematic in the article. In other words, Friedman was being a typical columnist.

But at the end, almost as a throwaway, he suggested that if someone like Steve Jobs ran GM...
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Bailing Out in the Real World — I feel like some of the commentary on the prospect of an auto industry bailout is starting to remind me of some of the stuff I fell for before we invaded Iraq. The kind of thing where someone yes, “yes this sounds like a bad idea, but if we do it like this …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo, Lawyers, Guns and Money, Lean Left
and The Hill's Blog Briefing Room
Wall Street Journal:
Goldman Chiefs Give Up Bonuses
Top Goldman executives have decided to forgo their 2008 bonuses, giving up potentially tens of millions of dollars in payouts in a year that has seen the reshaping of the securities industry...
Portfolio.com / Economics Roundtable: Extra Credit, Sunday Edition
Douglas McIntyre / BloggingStocks: Top Goldman Sachs execs take no bonuses
Wsf / Wall $treet Folly:
WSF Headline Roundup - Goldman Sr execs won't take bonuses; Huge Citi cuts; Long & painful recession?... — Blankfein, Goldman Deputies Decide to Forgo Bonuses Citigroup to Cut As Many As 50,000 Jobs in Overhaul Citi chief looks to rally the troops Obama Calls for Aid to U.S. Auto Industry, With Conditions Long, painful recession is likely -...

Flexo / Consumerism Commentary:
Goldman Sachs Executives Will Forgo Bonuses — One of my concerns about the original bailout bill was that the money paid to financial institutions would be used to pay for outsized executive bonuses. While companies must offer outrageous compensation to attract and keep the best executive talent, the market place has forced the price upwards. That worked well when the financial [...]
National Association of Realtors [NAR]:
Pending Home Sales Down on Tight Credit and Economic Slowdown -- Pending home sales fell on the heels of a strong gain a month earlier as credit tightened and economic conditions deteriorated, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in September, declined 4.6 percent to 89.2 from an upwardly revised reading of 93.5 in August, but is 1.6 percent higher than September 2007 when it stood at 87.8....
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Pending Home Sales Up -- The Pending Home Sales Index rose for the second month in a row.... it is the year over year data that matters much more than the monthly data...